“This album has been 4 years in the making—-it is a distilling of the past 20 years of observations, experiences, and challenges living in a one-stop-light town in a one stoplight county in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Following the success of 2017’s Dead Center, musician Mike Mitchell’s new project, Small Town, is a deeply personal project that is colored by the rich musical history of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Mike’s own distinctive instrumental prowess, and contributions from some of the most talented artists in bluegrass.
Many know that Mike is the founder and director of Floyd Music School, a revered institution located in the historic old Pix Theater building, which has hosted music performances from such bluegrass luminaries as Bill and Charlie Monroe.
But Mike continues to carve out his own place in bluegrass: Dead Center debuted in at the #1 spot on the Airplay Direct downloads chart in 2017 (and continues to chart in top 40), and radio programmers who have heard Small Town’s first single, “Tell It To My Face,” are unanimous in their praise.
Small Town is produced by Mark Schatz, and features Mike on fiddle and vocals, Mark on bass, Jarrod Walker (of Claire Lynch Band) on mandolin and guitar, Sammy Shelor (banjo) and Jesse Smathers (tenor harmony) from Lonesome River Band, The Mike Mitchell Trio’s Tommy Morse on banjo – and a guest vocal appearance from Claire Lynch on Mike’s original tune, “Jenny Lynne,” too. “Small Town” is set to be released September 21, 2018.
When talking about his new project, Mike says, “the songs on this album speak of love and loss, grief and faith, hope and second chances, forgiveness and perseverance. There is even one song about breakfast. Two covers – one folk, (Ola Belle Reed’s “High on a Mountaintop”) and one bluegrass (Osborne Brothers’ “Listening to the Rain”) – highlight a ‘folk-grass’ sound that I enjoy performing.”
“And as always, no record of mine would be complete without a couple of fiddle tunes! An obscure Kenny Baker number (“Grassy Fiddle Blues”), and one that I composed (“Lowground”) in the Baker style,” Mike adds.
Mike has a strong touring schedule through the end of 2018, with a stop at IBMA’s annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, to celebrate the release of Small Town.